Yeah, you read that right.
When I told people where I was heading to sweat today, multiple people asked me what Sproing was. And to that, all I could do was shrug my shoulders and say “I think it’s something like running on a trampoline?” It’s a bit of a mystery, because unlike other workouts that you can easily categorize (bikram yoga, barre, reformer pilates, etc.), this one is pretty outside the box. Unlike other studios, where you know exactly what you’re getting into, Sproing is one of those workouts you have to see to believe.
I walked through the front door and was immediately greeted by a clean, bright orange and white studio filled with other Chicago bloggers. I was immediately greeted by co-founder Paul and Matt, who were very down-to-earth, friendly, and excited to explain just what Sproing is all about.
I urge you to go to their website to really understand the workout, but I’ll sum it up for you here: it’s essentially a low impact workout that mimics a treadmill run + strength training, without all that unhealthy pounding on your joints that many of us experience because we don’t have the right running form. It feels like running on the beach! The workout helps promote the right running form and, in my opinion, would be the perfect supplement to any race training.
Since I’m a visual learner (and I’m sure many of you all are too) I found this pretty hilarious video of Sproing on the Steve Harvey show.
I started out by getting hooked up to a heart rate monitor. Now, I’m a bad runner and have never worn a heart rate monitor before. I’m “that person” who, when I first got my Garmin, just charged that bad boy up and left all the other techie stuff in the box (heart rate monitor included — whoops). I didn’t think I’d like the feeling of running with a device strapped to my chest, and have always been worried about it moving up and down while I move.
I hooked it up right under my sports bra and, surprise surprise, it didn’t move an inch during my workout. Plus I know that including a heart rate monitor is a great indicator of your intensity when running — they hold you accountable to push yourself. Numbers don’t lie, after all.
Soon we all gathered in the studio and were faced with a room full of treadmill-looking machines, chandeliers, and a giant timer. It was really a cool facility: half studio, half nightclub.
I will say it was pretty intimidating — the machines are like cushiony treadmills with straps and hooks all over, and you have to strap yourself in before you start. It was pretty funny trying to figure it out but the staff at Sproing was great about helping step-by-step. I really hope they give that much attention to all newbies, because I definitely don’t think I would’ve figured it out if there wasn’t a staff member specifically telling me what to hook up where. Luckily Erin was there to figure it out with me.
Before we knew it the workout began! We started with 15 minutes of explanations/warm ups and then dove right into a seriously intense 30 minute HIIT sequence of running (leaning forward), running (leaning back), inchworms, pushups, bicep curls, jumping jacks, squat jumps, etc. etc. We were instructed to follow our progress on the board and try to stay in the Orange Zone as much as possible (85% max heart rate or higher). I loved having a “scoreboard” like this! I’m terribly competitive so anytime I saw myself fall below the orange zone and into the green, I gave myself a mental push and kicked it into high gear.
This workout was tough stuff. We only had ten second breaks between rounds, but if you’ve ever done a HIIT workout before, you know that ten seconds really means five. But at the end of it all Erin and I absolutely crushed it in the Orange Zone!
Because we spent more than 20 minutes in the Orange Zone throughout our workout, Paul took our photo (with a Polaroid camera no less) to put on their #dripwall. So basically we’re Chicago celebrities now. NBD.
We will forever live on in Sproing infamy.
I stayed afterwards to chat more with Paul and Matt and really grew to respect the brand. Paul is the former CEO of Bally Total Fitness and the other co-founder is a very accomplished engineer, so between the two of them they have the passion and the brains to really see this thing through. Paul put it very well: Sproing is unlike any other workout in Chicago. There will always be cycling, yoga and barre studios, but this is truly a revolutionary idea that I think should become more well-known in this city, especially one that is so running-focused.
I know that when I begin training for the Chicago marathon soon, I’ll consider making Sproing a part of my fitness routine. I would definitely put my trust in this machine to improve my form, my time, and my overall cardiovascular fitness. If nothing else, I can definitely see myself replacing tempo runs or other short runs with this workout. I’m much more likely to push myself when I’m doing it in a group setting.
For all my Chicago readers (and anyone visiting), Sproing offers a free first week so take advantage and see what it’s all about!
- Have you ever heard of Sproing before?
- What’s the most unique workout you’ve heard of lately?